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How to throw a harvest party

Geste - Fêtez les récoltes

We are used to eating whatever we want, whenever we want, all year round.

But in September and October, we have something even better.

We have a wide selection of fresh, locally grown products.

This year, why not take advantage of fall's bounty and throw your very own harvest party?

Here are some ideas to get you started. 

DEcorations

Look outdoors for inspiration:

  • Make a leaf mobile. Attach dried leaves to an embroidery hoop, weigh them down with acorns, and voilà, a one-of-a-kind decoration.
  • A glass vase filled with locally grown pears makes a simple, tasteful centrepiece for your table. This is especially convenient if you happen to have a pear tree in your garden.
  • Make bouquets from flowers in your garden. For a classic arrangement, try dried Japanese lanterns. 
  • The humble pumpkin has many uses. It can be hollowed out to be used as a serving dish for your homemade kale chips, as an ice bucket for your drinks, or as a vase for your flowers.
  • Line a Mason jar with tissue paper. Add a flameless candle to make a chic lantern.
  • Set your table with local squash. Gorgeous!

Menu

Challenge yourself to use only local foods!

  • Use our Quebec Seasonal Produce Calendar to remind yourself of what fruits and vegetables are in season at this time of year. 
  • To plan your menu, consult our recipes (in French only) to discover such treasures as the harvest vegetable pie, courtesy of Patrick Gérôme, formerly head chef at the Auberge La Baluchon.
  • For an unforgettable appetizer, hand out parsnip soup in little espresso cups.
  • Are you planning to serve meat? Order your organic meat from one of our family farmers.  
  • For dessert, organize an apple pie-baking contest. Have participants label their entries with the name of the orchard where the main ingredient was grown. Give bonus points if the apples are organic, in addition to being local and in season. 
  • You can insist on a local menu for your harvest party, even if you prefer to use a catering service, as this short web doc shows. (For more web docs, visit Épluche ta ville.)
  • Perhaps instead of receiving guests at home, you'd rather organize an outing to a restaurant. Fortunately, you can eat local, even when eating out.

Games

  • Fill a glass jar with pumpkin seeds. Ask your guests to guess how many seeds there are in total. 
  • Encourage your youngest guests to build their own scarecrow.
  • Bobbing for apples is even more fun when the apples are organic, local and in season. Yum! 
  • Set up a ring toss using pumpkin stems as a target.

Party favours

Homemade jams and preserves make great party favours. They are wonderful souvenirs of summer. 

There are thousands of ways to celebrate the abundance of the season. Share your ideas in the Comments section below. 

For photos + sources, visit our Harvest party board on Pinterest.

Photo : Gaëlle Zwicky